The Facebook Grand Unification for Payment, And How It Breaks Nigeria’s Privacy Policy

The Facebook Grand Unification for Payment, And How It Breaks Nigeria’s Privacy Policy

If you read the Nigeria’s data protection regulation, you will agree that the updated WhatsApp private policy has clearly broken it: ‘The Policy states that WhatsApp will share information about the users on their platform with their parent company (Facebook), as well as other Facebook companies. The information includes user phone numbers, “transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our Services, mobile device information, your IP address”. Furthermore, WhatsApp has indicated that users who refuse to accept their revised privacy policy risk not being able to use the service at all’.

India is pushing for WhatsApp to rescind this policy. I think the European Union was exempted from the provision of this policy; a smart move by Facebook on GDPR. But if you look deeper, there is a compelling business case for Facebook to integrate WhatsApp to other platforms like Facebook.com and Instagram: payment. Today, most phone numbers are linked to a government data and in some cases biometrics data. In other words, a phone number is a solid data point, backed by government.

If you have Instagram payment and Facebook payment, the best validation is a phone validation. Your phone has a sim card and sim cards are linked to National Identity Numbers or social security numbers. In most parts of the development world, directly or indirectly, your phone number is linked to your fingerprints and photos.

If Facebook can confirm you own that phone, it will provide another level of security for transactions on Facebook.com and Instagram. Unfortunately, Facebook.com and Instagram are not phone-first platforms; only WhatsApp offers that option. That explains why Facebook changed its policy to unify all the platforms via WhatsApp. Its fintech playbook will run through WhatsApp.

The statement from the government


The attention of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, has been brought to the updated Privacy Policy of the WhatsApp messaging application.

The Policy states that WhatsApp will share information about the users on their platform with their parent company (Facebook), as well as other Facebook companies.

The information includes user phone numbers, “transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our Services, mobile device information, your IP address”. Furthermore, WhatsApp has indicated that users who refuse to accept their revised privacy policy risk not being able to use the service at all.

The Federal Government released the Nigeria Data Protection Regulations (NDPR) in 2019 and is committed to upholding the data privacy of Nigerians. We are also aware that the European region is exempt from the provisions of the updated Policy and it is also being challenged in a number of countries.

The Honourable Minister has therefore directed the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as the Regulator of the Information Technology sector, to engage vigorously with Facebook to understand the processes, level of security, etc of the data of Nigerian users in order to ensure that Policies proposed for Nigeria strictly adhere to the provisions of NDPR.

Nigerians can be assured that the Federal Government will give uttermost attention to the privacy of their data, in line with the NDPR and the National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria.

Nigeria Data Protection Regulation: A Quick Review

---

Click to register for Tekedia Mini-MBA (Sept 13 – Dec 6, 2021): online, self-paced, $140 (or N50,000 naira). Full curriculum here.

Click to join Tekedia Capital Syndicate and build Next Africa with a minimum of $10,000 co-investment in startups.

Share this post

2 thoughts on “The Facebook Grand Unification for Payment, And How It Breaks Nigeria’s Privacy Policy

  1. Our government is talking about privacy, the fight should be more than that, if you allow Facebook to run payment services here, you may no longer have fintech sector. So, it’s important to equally study how the move could impact the local fintech sector, the world is not full of nice people; this you must always bear in mind.

    Zuckerberg is doing everything possible to protect his castle, because Facebook receives more beating than any of the big tech, so it remains the endangered specie.

    Relying on ads for revenues might not cut it in few years from now, so you need something more assuring, with less scandals.

    Reply

Post Comment